Sunday, November 14, 2010

Temple Groundbreaking

Yesterday we had the amazing opportunity to attend the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Gilbert Temple. We weren't originally going to go, but when Dad got an invite for VIP parking and seating, we jumped on the chance. It was a beautiful day for a groundbreaking, the weather was gorgeous, it could have been better if there were a few clouds. There were a lot of people there as were expected, but it wasn't too bad.


I love how they had the golden shovels all lined up with pictures of the temple on them, a really neat touch.


The choir did a great job. I love the picture of the temple, its going to be a magnificent building! Hopefully they'll get it done super fast and not take the 2 years they have planned.


We just thought that we got to sit in cool seats, but then it kept getting cooler. They were recognizing all of the dignitaries in attendance and not only did they call out my dad, they had him stand up too since he was representing the city of Mesa. That was cool. Then when it came time to ceremoniously break ground they had all of the Church officials go, and then they were having the dignitaries come up and they called up my Dad to come and have a turn. It was a very neat surprise for him, and it will be a wonderful memory for him and a highlight of his time in office. Dad got to shake hands with Elder Costa and Elder Walker. 





It was a great day and then we rushed off to Abigail's 2nd Birthday Party.  It was a wonderful marathon day.  I love temples and having them so close to me.  Sometimes I feel a bit spoiled to have temples so close.  They spoke of people that travel days to attend the temple.  I have one 5 minutes from my house and soon another one about 20 minutes from my house.  I hope the saints in the area realize this and take full advantage of the wonderful blessings they have so close to them.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

When stuck in Charlotte...

So on our way home, it first appeared as if it would be no problem getting back to Phoenix. Somehow between our flight from Orlando to Charlotte everyone decided to head to Phoenix that day and basically suck up all the empty seats that we were to use. We were starting to get really nervous that we would be stuck in North Carolina till who knows when. Our nerves were getting to us after like the 3rd or 4th flight that we didn't get on, tears were starting to flow and fear was starting to set in as we bounced from gate to gate that had flights to Phoenix flying out of. Carly called and told her boss she wasn't going to make it to work on Monday, I was about to call my sister and see if she could sub for me on Monday. We were getting to one of the last and final flights of the day, I decided to go and stand by the gate so that I could over hear everything that the gate agents were saying, there was a small glimpse of hope and so I went and got my stuff and Blaine and Carly. They started paging people on the stand by list ahead of us and some of them weren't coming. Miraculously we got onto the flight and we were on the same row. It was the last row of the plane, but it was a seat home. We barely made it on the flight, they closed the door after the guy behind us. We didn't even know when the flight was to land in Phoenix, and that really didn't matter, we were making it home that day! We quickly called our families to let them know of our good fortune in the like 2 minutes we had to use our phones before we had to turn them off before the plane took off.

I don't think I will ever fly on the back row again, it was quite interesting. I can't complain too much because it was a seat on a flight and we weren't going ot have to campout in an airport with no luggage because everything went with Emilie and Irving since they can check their luggage for free. The one good thing about that airport is their bathrooms. They have bathroom attendants whose full time job is to keep their bathroom clean. Carly and I would have a great laugh each time we used the restroom. We used Valerie's happy bathroom. Her slogan is, "Everyone pees happy in Valerie's Happy Bathroom!" She had the funniest things to say as people were in there. My favorite were her songs she sang. There's nothing like sitting on the toilet having a hilarious black woman sing "You are my Sunshine" Blaine told us the mens restrooms weren't as entertaining as the womans with their attendants. So if you're ever stuck in the Charlotte Airport, use the bathroom and get a good laugh!

Yes, another trip to Florida!

During October break I had the opportunity to go to Disneyworld with my cousin Emilie and her little family, and her brother Blaine and his wife Carly.  It was kind of an interesting group that I went with, but it was tons of fun.  Emilie had her 7 week old baby and 18 month old daughter, so I was kind of the nanny at times and helped with them. Then with Blaine and Carly it was their "honeymoon" and I was the tour guide.  We all stayed in the same condo and had our own rooms so it was all good.  I was also the designated driver and chauffeured them in the soccer mom van around town.  We had a great time and would do it again.  It was my first time in like 5 years having to buy a ticket to get into the parks and that hurt my bank account, not used to paying so much for a little piece of paper! 
We went to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (Thanks Brad for helping us get the discount tickets!).  I love going to the extra parties and seeing all the fun extras they bring out.  I was finally able to get my picture with Tarzan and Jane.  My camera did something funky and it didn't turn out very well :( Irving happened to get one with their camera and then tragically during Halloween weekend it got lost, and she hasn't found it yet, I hope she can find it!  Such is life and we move on.

The Haunted Mansion looked really cool during the party, they kind of go all out.  The cast members working at the Mansion during the party get their hair and make up done to look creepy.  Outside they have Madame Leota talking with the guests and just adding to the funness of the night. 

I love, love, love Mickey's Boo to You Parade.  It starts off with the Headless Horseman riding down the parade route, that is a really neat site to see.  Most of the characters have Halloween costumes on and it is super cute.  One of my favorite parts of the parade is the Haunted Mansion section.  They have the guy with the lantern and the dog and then some gravediggers.  The gravediggers do the coolest thing, they take their shovels and scrape the ground in a circle so they spark, it is so cool.


They have a bunch of trick or treat trails so you make out with lots of candy.  The quality of the candy is so much better this year than it has been in the past.  Brisa had fun trick or treating after she learned what you do.  She thought it was the coolest thing to be able to hold out a bag, say trick or treat and then have people put candy in your bag.  We got the best candy when we left, Werther's Mousse candies.  If you thought Werther's Originals were good, wait till you try this.  A think chocolate shell with caramel mousse inside.  They are delectable, we went to all the people who were passing those out so we could get quite a few.

This year I actually spent some time and money and enjoyed Epcot's International Food and Wine festival.  I had never tried any of the samples.  I don't know why I never did because they were so good!  I tried baklava for the first time, delicious! Food is good and even better when you sample different countries.

Another super cool thing in Epcot is in the Germany Pavilion they just opened the most divine shop ever, Karamel Kuche (Caramel Kitchen)  It is partnered with Werther's and oh my goodness, so good and bad for you! I won't even begin to mention the delicious goodies inside so as not to torture anyone!

  video
Blaine got to be one of the volunteers during the Backlot tour.  He had fun getting tons of water dumped on him, check out the video to see his acting debut.  Hollywood Studios is so much fun because of its 3 best attractions, Rockin Rollercoaster, Tower of Terror and Toy Story Mania.  The fast passes for TSM run out super fast and you basically have to be in the park within the hour it opens to get one, that never happened since we were park hopping.  TSM  is a must and so we had time and sucked it up to stand in the 80 minute line.  It is so worth the wait, so make sure you plan time to ride it.  We walked into the line and as we were another group was leaving and the lady looked at Carly and said "The line is really long!"  Really you think the line is long?  It only says when you walk in that it's an 80 minute wait.  Didn't you read that as you walked in?  People are so silly when they are on vacation at Disneyworld.


We had a great time and like everything good, it must come to an end.  Getting home was quite the adventure!  We flew standby because Irving works for USAirways and we could fly cheaper.  We left for the airport at 5am to try and make the 7am nonstop back home.  Emilie and Irving barely made that flight and the rest of us would had a family (Carly and I now curse their name j/k) not barely made it through security and ran to the gate, grrr.  Oh well we got on to the next flight to Charlotte to connect to a flight to phx sometime that day.  As we waited the hour for our flight we met this guy.  He was a very happy newsstand dude.  Every time someone bought something he sang them this awesome song or some variation of it.
video


I love the guy's reaction to the dude singing to him, it was like, did that really just happen? Thanks to Carly for sneakily recording that on her phone as it would be much needed the rest of the day.

Grandma's Wedding

Since Grandma's Wedding was almost a month ago I figured I should finally put some pictures up.  I don't have too many, that wasn't my job for the day. 
Tex is so in love with my Grandma right now, its so cute.  The bishop who married them had to tell Tex it wasn't time to kiss her yet, he had to wait!  Tex also wrote a poem for Grandma that he read during the wedding, super cute.
Here's the beautiful cake I made for the wedding.  I think it turned out quite nicely.
Here's some of the gorgeous flowers my mother made for the wedding.  Watching everyone in the family get ready for this wondrous occasion was hilarious.  My dear Aunt Becky finally had a wedding to help plan, since she has 4 daughters and guys are lame and they are all still single.  The day turned out wonderfully, except for the part when we were introducing all the families to kind of get to know everyone, his son that lives here, they go to Mt View.  It was funny to hear all of us gasp as they said that, since we are a Mesa High family!  I guess we can forgive them for that, it's just funny how things like that are a non serious issue, even though its not a serious matter, it just makes for fun conversation.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Spiritual High

Lately I've been getting lots of spiritual highs.  I go to an amazing institute class each Thursday.  The class I picked this semester is "Great Woman of the Scriptures" taught by a really good instructor who I go way back with, way back that he was my Tee-Ball coach.  It is hard to call him Bro. so and so.  Each week I leave having learned so much.  Institute can be hard at times because you sit there for 90 mins each class and sometimes I don't have the attention span to sit that long after teaching all day.  This class is very insightful and I feel myself not looking at my watch to see if it 8:30 yet so that I can go home, I'm always engaged.  Studying the scriptures is important but sometimes it can be boring and its stuff you've heard before.  This class is taking a different spin and making it a lot more interesting.  I love the spiritual high I am on when I leave each week.

The next spiritual high came from the Relief Society General Broadcast last night.  It was so good and gave each of us women a little "you go girl" moment to lift us and say way to go for being a great woman.  I think President Monson's talk was his best ever, so good, and twice today people quoted from it.  He spoke about many things but mainly to be more charitable and so so judgmental.  There are so many members of the church who are unkind and get complacent and look down on others who don't share the same beliefs as them.  We need to be more understanding and accepting of all.  We don't know everyones story and where they've been.  All we can do is help them along their journey and to become the best that they can become.  People our brought into our lives for a reason and us into theirs for the some reason as well. 

I can't wait for conference this weekend and for the spiritual high I will get from listening to inspired leaders.  I kind of hope they continue on with the theme with being more charitable because I feel its a thing members of the church need hear.  Its hard to do missionary work if investigators come to church and don't feel welcome because they are different. 

I will post pics from grandmas wedding later, I don't have them on my computer yet.  It was great fun, they are so cute together and now its over!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Community

I am having a blast in my new schools this year.  I am a much happier person and life is good!  On monday at one of my schools they were having a constitution assembly I went to it to see what it was all about and because I felt I needed to be there since I should have been teaching but my class was there.  Every Monday the whole school gathers around the flagpole courtyard and recite the Declaration of Independence and the Pledge of Allegiance.  It is so cool to hear them say that.  The Principal then shares who is having a birthday that week and any other announcements.  At the assembly on Monday they did that and then the 5th graders recited the Preamble.  Doing stuff like that creates a sense of community.  Having that sense of community makes a huge difference in the way a child learns.  The teachers care more and everyone wants to be there.  I am really impressed by this sense of community, and love what that provides for the students.  That is the end of my ramblings for today.  Get ready for fun next week, my Grandma Riding is getting married on Saturday, so we are enjoying a roller coaster of emotions this week!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Quick Get away

This past Labor Day weekend I traveled to Utah with my parents to take my lovely sister and her husband their stuff they didn't have room to fit in their car.


The newlyweds have a nice little basement apartment that they live in that is super close to BYU. For those of you familiar with the area they are kind of across the street from the Creamery on 9th. They are having a great time.
 

One of the best parts of the weekend was being able to be reunited with Tiauna. She is kind of like an adopted sister. She was tiff's roommate in FL and the three of us became really close and did a lot together. I haven't seen her for a year since my last trip to UT. She came and stayed with Tiff for the weekend as well and we had a great time catching up and hanging out again.

There were some very funny experiences this weekend.  Provo and the whole BYU experience are very interesting.  It is like its own little world up there.  We went to their BYU Married students ward on Sunday.  I thought I have seen a lot in my days of singles wards and attending church at my lovely Sheraton Safari, but this is a whole new experience.  During church Tiauna and I were the only ones who did not either had someones arm around us or holding hands.  I'm glad she was there so that we could be alone together.  I have never seen such a high concentration of young couples and  either pregnant women and newborns.  It was fun.  It is a very good thing to have that kind of ward for all of the married students at the Y.  Another thing that made me laugh very hard inside was during Relief Society.  There are some really young , and I mean REALLY young girls in that ward.  They had all of the new move ins introduce themselves.  There were some who had been married like 2 weeks.  My favorite was this blonde from Southern California.  She is going to have a great time adjusting to life in Provo!  I laughed the most at booked they passed around with all sorts of information, including who in the ward is expecting, when, boy or girl and the hospital they are delivering at.  It was awesome. 

Saturday was the first BYU football game of the season.  Since Tiff and Jeff live up the hill from the stadium we passed by it a couple times before and during the game.  It was hilarious to watch people arriving to the game.  I saw a lady, who is not very skinny, wearing a BYU jersey, white shorts, REALLY high heels, tons of make-up and huge hoop earings.  Really?  Is that necessary?  She was walking up to the stadium, and I'm sure she had to walk pretty far, how did she do it?  Oh the college life in Provo!

We had fun seeing Jones family that lives up there.  On the way home we stopped in Parowan to see my mother's friend.  After taking that detour we got to drive up to Brian Head and Cedar Break.  It was so gorgeous up there and made the trip a little more enjoyable to have something pretty to look at.  When we got closer to home we hit really heavy traffic.  It took us 2 hours to go 20 miles as we got closer into Phoenix.  It was ridiculous.  Traffic coming out of Payson has never been that bad.  We will never go to Flagstaff or anywhere using I-17 on a 3 day weekend, it was awful.  It is amazing how impatient, rude, and inconsiderate drivers are when there is lots of traffic.  We all have to sit in it and you aren't any cooler or more important than the others driving.  We finally made it home and I got to sleep in my bed.  I got the honor of picking the air mattress that had a hole in it and got some interesting sleep  while up there.  It was a fun trip and how its good to be home.  Life at BYU is very different and it own thing.  Now its time to see what adventures await this week!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Farewell Summer

Summer ended all too soon.  Luckily I was able to find a job for the school year, it came very last minute, but it is so worth the wait!  I got a job with Mesa Schools, it is currently only part time, 3 days a week, but it is still wonderful.  It is 100% better than last year, so amazing to see such a change in the different schools.  I teach at 4 different schools, I'm kind of like the clean up teacher, picking up different general music classes that the full time teacher at the school couldn't fit into their schedule.  Nothing against where I taught last year, staff morale is so much higher and I feel more valued and respected.  On the other days I'm not teaching I will be able to sub or just chill at home, I'm really excited for this change.  One of the best things about my new job is my first school on Mondays and Fridays is 5 minutes away from my house.  No more 45 min of rush hour traffic!  I can leave my house an hour later, which means I can sleep an hour more and it also makes for a happier Wendi!  I did take a pay cut only working part time, but its still enough to get by with and I'm living at home so I don't have too many expenses.  Life is good!  Now I just need to find people who want to take a trip Oct. break because I need a vacation.  As much as I love my little sister Tiffany, she ruined my summer vacation plans, so I need to get away.  Luckily I'll be leaving AZ this weekend to go take some stuff up to Tiffy and Jeffy up in Provo, I'm not looking forward to the drive.  It will be a quick fun trip and a chance to get away for a little bit and to see my dearest Tiauna whom I haven't seen for a year and miss dearly.  Summer was too short, good thing I'm not working full time so the school year isn't too intense yet!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Oh What do you do in the Summertime

This summer has by far been one of the craziest yet most amazing summers ever!  My sister Tiffany had been dating this guy Jeff for awhile and he was conversing with Marilee of when he was going to propose.  Well he finally proposed on June 1 when his family came up to do some shopping.  Jeff only has one brother and he was leaving on his mission June 30.  So to be accommodating we planned the wedding for June 25.  Let me tell you how intense those 24 days were between the engagement and the wedding, there wasn't much time to come up for air!  It is amazing everything that we accomplished in such a short amount of time.  The next day we went dress shopping and didn't have too much luck there, since we aren't made of money.  Luckily we found the dress from China and it came just barely in time, as in Tuesday 3 days before the wedding. (See previous post for more info)  We quickly became a sewing factory making 8 bridesmaid dresses and amazingly finished them all.  Tiff and I also were able to get our temple recommends because I decided it was time for me to go to the temple.  I've been wanting to go for a while now and was just waiting for the perfect time to go, which I thought was going to be the end of summer.  Tiff wanted to go through the Gila Valley Temple since she had been going to school down there and being a part of all the temple festivities, it was a part of her now.  So I went to the Mesa temple June 18, and then the next day we drove down to Thatcher and Tiff went through down there.  It was such a neat experience.  It was the best decision I made, and it wasn't just so I could go to Tiff's wedding.  Then the next Friday Tiff and Jeff were married and I was the lucky one to walk around with them after the wedding to take pictures.  I was going to die.  June in AZ is killer if you are outside for more than like 10 minutes.  When we finally made it to the family dinner I had like 10 cups of water before I even started eating.

The next day we traveled back down to Thatcher so that his side of the family could have an Open House before Taylor the brother left on his mission.  It was a fun little party and a nice little get away for us.  This wedding ruined my plans for a vacation so staying in a hotel in Thatcher is pretty much all I got.  The cake the Patty, Jeff's mom made for the open house is amazing and super cute.  I loved the idea that she found in magazine.
 


The awesome cake at the open house. It was so much fun to watch Patty's Father and Brother who are engineers piece it together. It was a big puzzle for them

We waited 2 weeks to have the reception back in Mesa so that we could plan that and get ready for an awesome party. It turned out so beautifully. We don't have too many pics of how beautiful it was because we epically failed taking pictures. It was very simple and elegant.



The happy couple with the beautiful cake that Emilie and I made
The reception was decorated very beautifully. 
I love my nieces, they are so cute and love to hang out with each other and do what the other is doing
My nephew was having a blast in his walker roaming around the cultural hall.  He thought it was the greatest thing ever, and then my niece had to join in and push him, they were having the greatest time playing.
They have such a great relationship can't you tell?!
My mom is an amazing florist. 

Sisters, sisters!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Made in China

I haven't blogged in a very long time, and I will go more into that at a later date. My sister got married and it was a rather short engagement and very intense.

I have discovered the coolest new thing, ordering your wedding dress from China. I hadn't heard of it until my cousin, who is also getting married this summer, got hers from China. Since we didn't have much time to get Tiff a dress we went out to the different shops around town to see if they had anything that worked. We found a few options and Tiff found a dress that she fell inlove with. The bad part about that dress is that it cost $1,000! Who in this economy has money for that? Not us! So we left the shop pondering what to do. We had looked at a website for a chinese company and found a dress she was interested. When we got home from dress shopping we found a knock off of the one she fell in love with that would only cost us around $200 including shipping. So we took the gamble and ordered the dress from China. It came in the week of the wedding and mom put sleeves on it and she looked stunning on her wedding day.

I think from now on I will suggest to people to order a dress from China. The dress doesn't need to last forever because how many times do you wear it? Tiff has worn hers 3 times now and it still looks amazing. There are 3 cousins on the Riding side getting married this summer, and they have all purchased their dresses from China. It is the thing to do now, I swear. What I say to do, is go shopping and find what looks good on you, and then find a knock off from China and you're good to go! Take a look, what do you think?

Expensive Dress
Cheap China Dress

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I can Spell! (sort of)

A few weeks ago we went down to Thatcher to see my lovely sisters perform in the "25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee"  It was a fun yet interesting show.  It's not your traditional broadway musical.  It was kind of weird.  The best part was I was called up to be on stage with them.  They call up 6 guest spellers to be a part of the spelling bee.  I got to sit by Marilee the whole first half of the show and it was great fun.  The other 5 spellers they called up were really odd and extremely annoying.  One of the guys sat there and was acting like he only spoke Spanish.  You could tell that Tiff ( who was one of the moderators) was getting annoyed by him, luckily the comfort counselor spoke Spanish so he started talking to the guy.  It was hilarious, and if you knew the comfort counselor, his character would alone make you laugh.  My first word to spell was cow, so luckily I made it through the 1st round!  I was the last guest speller to get out at the end of the first half, and ended up getting serenaded to by the cast.  I later found out that Tiffany had full control in keeping me that long.  They wanted to get rid of the others first since they were so annoying.  I had a blast being on stage.  Its been a longtime since I've been in a show and it felt so good to be on stage again. 

Rona Lisa Peretti, Me, Logainne Schwartsandgrubbiner

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Adventures in Handicap Parking

 The past 2 weeks I have been a Pageant Warrior helping with the Easter Pageant at the Mesa Temple. It has been a great opportunity to help again this year because I didn't get to help last year since I was in Florida. I spent a couple of nights at Handicap parking.  Some nights were stressful and other quite comical.  Some people really abuse the whole handicap pass and it makes me sad because then those who actually need to park closer can't.  Sometimes some members of the church frustrate me especially when the lie and think that paying their tithing entitles them to closer parking at the pageant..  Hello it doesn't matter to me if you pay your tithing or have a temple recommend, those are things you should do anyways and they don't entitle you to anything but blessings that the Lord has for us.  Then there are some who actually do have a disability and don't just bring grandma to use her pass.  One of my favorites was this awesome motor home that was full of people.  I just had to take a picture of it, you don't see too many like it anymore.

It was kind of like a clown car seeing all of them leave.  Please be sure to say "Hi" to Napoleon for me when you get home!

The next car was my favorite.  This lady pulls up on a golf cart and tells us she has a permit but didn't want to leave it hanging on her mirror because it would just blow away.  I believed what she said because I had a class with her once at MCC and knew she had some problems.  After she parked she came up to us and said she only used half of the parking spot so if another golf cart came they could park in that spot as well.  I was just dying laughing inside.  A few minutes later she came back telling us she needed to go to Walgreens and grab some tortilla chips but she would be back.  While she was gone a guy on a Harley pulled up and parked in her spot so when she returned we told her to take the other half of the spot.  She was excited to hear that she wasn't completely wasting a space. She first had asked if we had any specific parking for golf carts.  Yeah no, that is the only golf cart I've seen driven to the pageant! 
 
Thats the lighter side of handicap parking.  I was called a liar because some old people thought they saw a spot.  I do know how to count, I do have a college degree!  I also had to deal with crazy anit's as they were passing their crap out and then the liar sales men from Living Scriptures.  I do love the Living Scriptures movies but I do not like the way they do their business.  If you subscribe and then have to cancel they keep calling you.  It is annoying. 

Anyways the pageant was great, I love it.  It is so amazing each year.  There are more adventures to share at a later date, there is lots to do on this wonderful conference and Easter Sunday.  Yay for having family parties at my house!

It's Wendi with an I

Last week I went to the swearing in of the new Mesa Police Chief with my parents, it was kind of our fhe activity, we are weird like that with just me at home.  We are sitting at a table with other city council peeps and the superintendent of Mesa schools came and sat at our table and my dad starts talking to him and introducing my mother and I, then my mother points to me and says "My daughter needs a job!" I think my face turned bright red when she said that.  We then chatted about what I teach and if I have all of my certifications and other stuff.  When I said which district I'm presently working for he said yeah we need to get you over to Mesa.  Hopefully that little exchange will help my chances of getting a new job much higher!  He did say they are wanting to start show choir at some of the schools if I would be interested in working with that and I said yes.  He then asked what my first name is because he knew what my last name is.  I told him it's Wendi with an I.  Hopefully having a "different" spelling of my name will help him remember me and get me a job! I updated my application so now I play the waiting game.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Could Someone Pinch Me Please?

I had a moment of shock the other day at work, it was a great moment and a Pinch me Please moment. At my "other" school, the one I'm only there 2 out of the 6 days my room has been messy from a project that was started at the end of the school year last year and never finished. It has caused me much frustration. I finally got to use half of my room about 10 weeks into the school year and figured it would be like that the rest of the school year.  So this day I walk into my room and about have a heart attack because it is completely cleaned out.  I didn't know what to do with myself, I almost started jumping up and down with joy!  That week I didn't get to spend much time in my room because the kids were taking a district test and I got to go babysit, I mean help proctor during the morning.  The kids were also very excited to see the room empty



Before shots.  It is a really nice big room for me to do fun stuff with the kids.

 
And here is what she looks like today!  I can't believe that everything was finally taken out of my room.   So this next part you can all laugh at me, but I kind of find it ironic. I then realized that my room being cleaned was all thanks to Disney.  I remembered them saying something about a campus beautification project that people could sign up and help with the Give a Day, Get a Disney Day Free promotion that was going on.  It's very awesome to know that the company I enjoyed working with so much continues to help me out!  Having that huge act of service done for my classroom made me so happy for the rest of the week, it made the week go by so fast!  The next day at a staff meeting our new principal showed us pictures from the volunteers working on our campus over the weekend. 

That is my excitement for a while, I fill my days going to school and looking for school districts that are looking for a new Music Teacher.  Hopefully I'll be able to find something closer to home for the next school year. 

Now I'm enjoying a wondrous spring break of not having to drive into Phoenix!  Its quite splendid to have the chance to sit around and not really do anything for the week.  There will be some adventures, but those shall be discussed at a later date.  Its time to enjoy this beautiful weather!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Anything Can Happen

The past week has been CRAZY! There has been all sorts of drama, but mainly at work.  Monday was a splendid day off work, thank you George Washington and Abraham Lincoln for having birthdays in February.  We had the family over for dinner and just hung out for a while and celebrated Abby's 1 year anniversary of being home from the hospital.  I love my nieces and nephews!  I also saw the movie When in Rome, super cute.  Tuesday was an interesting day.  I spent the whole day kind of stressing out about that night because I was singing at stake enrichment.  I love to sing, but not always a solo and especially for the really talented people that I have grown up with in my stake.  During dinner before the meeting started the power went out.  I was excited for a moment thinking I might get out of it.  But alas, the power came back on and we were able to resume.  Luckily I was first so I didn't have to sit and worry while others were talking.  It went great and I got many compliments, so I guess it wasn't too bad!  I'm glad that was over.

On Wednesday I went and saw Mary Poppins, it was amazing.  I had seen it in NYC, and most of it was the same, you can't do everything with a touring set as you can when you are a resident show.  It was a date and I won't go into all the details about everything, but it was kind of an interesting date.  Me and some cousins got a mini subscription to the Gammage Broadway Series this year and decided to buy 2 tickets to Mary Poppins and be ambitious and find a date.  Yeah the ambitious part, what where we thinking?  It turned out ok. The guy I ended up taking had never been to a musical before.  He said he enjoyed so I hope he did.  I love live theater, so that is something that whoever I marry needs to enjoy.

Also that day at work I found out about a lot of drama that occurred during the week.  Hold on folks, this is quite the tale and I think I should write a novel about my adventures this year, it's been crazy!  So at the school I'm at 2 days a week my principal's husband passed away in October,  I have seen her off and on since then and can't really remember the last time I saw her.    Well she resigned and so now our Assistant Principal is now the Principal and an Assistant Principal from another school will be at our school 2 days a week.  Then a 3rd grade teacher had a mental breakdown and she quit as well.  One of the 6th grade teachers moved down and took over her class, and the 6th grade class was then split between the 2 7th grade classes.  It has been crazy!  There are also all sorts of budget issues going on right now as well, and I will discuss those later.  If anyone knows of any schools looking for an amazing music teacher for next school year let me know!

Friday my sisters came home for weekend and to see Mary Poppins.  It was fun to have them home, it had been a while since they came for a visit.  When they got home from the show friday night they were all giddy because they are big nerds and went to get pics with some of the actors.  Gavin Lee, the guy who plays Bert is so attractive, and even cooler because he is married and his wife is in the tour cast as well.  That makes me super happy because most guys on broadway are gay, so this realization makes me happy.  So they got their pics with Bert and Mary.  


Saturday we had our Riding cousins party.  We were flying kites at the park and we were going to play kickball but it was too cold and windy and then it started raining.  It's so much fun to hang out with my family and just chill with them.  Then after that I went to a baby shower for a friend of mine and her mother was my mentor teacher.  I was so excited to see a bunch of old friends.  When I was talking to my mentor teacher she told me a really funny story that totally helped me get over the drama I had experienced the beginning of the week!  Last semester she had another student teacher and I guess a bunch of the kids kept calling her Ms. Jones.  But the best part is when she was prepping the kids on thursday for her to be gone friday for Regionals one of the kids said "It would be better if Ms So and So ( the student teacher from last semester) were here"  and then another one said, "It would be even better if Ms Jones were here"  It made me so happy to hear that.  I knew most of the kids liked me, but I didn't think I had left that big an impression on them.  When you hear things like that it reminds of why you do what you do.  Now I need to just find a school where I can truly do what I love and appreciate me more! 

Then today at church it was Ward Conference.  It was amazing.  I am recharged and ready to go.  It is amazing how inspired our leaders can be and know the right things to say to help you along your way.  Going back to our enrichment meeting on tuesday the theme was "Finding Joy in the Journey Now"  We will have trials some more challenging that others, we just have to wait and have faith that everything will work out.  I love going to meetings where the spirit is so strong.  Although you may have been sitting there for so long, you don't want to leave and have that spirit leave as well.  You want to always have that feeling.  So now lets see what adventures are out there for this week!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Birthday Arizona!

While most people celebrate Valentine's Day, I like to celebrate Arizona's Birthday.  Someday I will celebrate and have a Valentine, but for now I celebrate my state.  I am proud to be from Arizona.  I always loved meeting people from Arizona while I was in Florida.  The great state of Arizona is 98 today.

I have some thoughts on Valentines day.  Lately little stands have popped up on the side of the road selling cheap stuff for your Valentine.  Would someone please tell me how a 3 foot tall teddy bear or other stuffed animal says "I Love You?"  To me that is not romantic, plus what do you do with it after Valentine's Day?  There are many more romantic things you can do.

Also talking about someday starting a family I have an aunt who claims her self as the bonding coordinator.  So when I get married I have to make sure his birthday doesn't interfere with another family members birthdays or anything else on the calendar.  She sent an email the other day that I shall share it because it made me laugh, this is just a taste of my funny family.

I just wanted to share with you concerns that Grandma and I were talking
about last night. It appears that the majority of babies being born in our
family are males. This creates a long term problem for grandma because she
cannot make gifts for boys like she can for girls. Boys actually require
spending money and buying gifts. So when you are carefully planning when
to have your children (to avoid calendar conflicts) could you also
carefully choose to have the female gender, unless you would like you sons
to get doilies, dresses, or pretty hair flowers. It is only a suggestion
to help grandma out.



Last night our stake had a sweetheart dance, I went to fulfill my church calling, left after eating and watched a movie with friends.  We watched Julie and Julia, super cute.  I really like it, it might be a one I will buy.  A very good movie, with a great story line and for the most part clean.  A lot better than what you normally see.   I give it 2 thumbs up!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Tales of a Kind of Only Child

Right now I am the only kid at home, it is really different after there being 5 of us for so long, but over the years that number has gotten smaller as some get married and others go away to school.  Sometimes it is really nice, other times a little awkward and others I can't wait to move out again.  One of the best things right now are the fancy city functions I attend on occasion with my parents.  A few weeks ago we went to a reception thingy before at the art center.  They had some really really good little appetizers and desserts to snack on.  The presentation at these fancy events are always amazing, the servers were serving some of the stuff out of cigar boxes, it was way cool.  We had some chicken flautas with prickly pear, mmm delcious and lots of other good foods that probably aren't very good for me!  Last night I hung out with my parents at a super bowl party that some of their city friends throw each year.  It's kind of a who's who in Mesa, we basically went for networking purposes and to see how rich people watch the game.

Those are some of the fun things, it isn't always like that.  Sometimes they will go to some function without me and leave me with nothing for dinner and they say you'll be ok.  Its not that bad but just funny at times.  Another not so fun thing about there only being 3 of us, family prayer.  I have nothing against praying but you go through the rotation a lot faster when there are only 3!

Something I find really funny is that not too many people in my parents ward know who I am because I go to the singles ward and so when I answer the phone or the door they get confused when I answer and its not my mom.  I felt real old when I went to lunch on the day I took after my birthday and one of the ladies who lives down the street and younger than me and about to have baby #3.  Yeah don't worry, I'm done with school, not married and still living at home!  Another thing that makes me laugh is some of the moms that my mom watches for sometimes aren't comfortable if it is just me at home with their baby.  Hello I am old enough for them to be my child so I think I can take care of them just fine!  Those are all my stories for today.

PS  This is not meant to be a negative post.  I hope I'm not coming across that way but to some it may sound that way.  Life is good right now and I'm not too excited to have my sisters move back home in May!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

I am now 1/4 of a century old, halfway to 50 woohoo!  Everyone keeps asking me if I feel older, nope.  I think I felt older when I started teaching and everyone started calling me Ms. Jones.  My car insurance will now go down and I can rent a car all by myself and that makes me really happy because it makes going to florida a little bit cheaper!

I had a busy birthday weekend.  There was a huge YSA Conference on Saturday.  It was pretty good and I learned some great stuff on finances, saving for and buying a house, info from a Biggest Loser contestant and the ever so exciting dating panel.  Some things get so redundant and ridiculous to hear at times.  One of the guys said that girls can't complain about not getting asked out if they don't go to any of the activities, but when asked about why girls who don't get asked out yet go to activities don't get asked out he didn't have an answer.  Boys are just dumb and get freaked out when they get asked out on dates.  Ahh the drama just makes me want to be single forever, not!  Then satuday night there was a dance.  It actually was a lot of fun, because we all know that dances can be lame.  People were actually dancing at this one, amazing!  They also had game rooms with rock band and other games so that those who don't like to dance can still hang out with people.

Sunday I got to sit through what seemed 5,00 meetings.  I had one at 11, 12, church at 1:45, rush home for my Birthday dinner at 5, meeting at 6:15, 7, and fireside at 8.  It was a great day, I just wish I didn't have to spend half my birthday in meetings!  I did however have some friends come over for cake after the fireside.  Not too many came because it was kind of late and they thought they needed to go home and get some sleep.  I probably would have done the same but I decided to have fun and take today off work, I have days to use up so why not?  It has been wonderful so far!

I went shopping last weekend with my mom to get  my presents.  I got a nice new pair of pants that were normally $89, and I got them for $27 and a new jacket.  I got some other fun stuff and then the new Michael Buble cd, because I am in love with his new song, listen to it, you will like it too!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Here's to you 2009

A lot has happened during the year of 2009.  I wanted to take a moment and highlight some of the stuff.  There is a lot more to highlight than I thought!  Many things changed this past year, some for the better so not so much.

So the beginning of the year Tiff and I left on our 3 day trek across the country to Florida.  We were so happy to make it to Florida and not have to drive through Texas for a very long time!
  
The end of January we had the opportunity to come home for my Grandpa Riding's funeral.  It wasn't the happiest time to come home but I did get to hold my Abigail for the first time.
 
Also met Tiuana, Tiff's roommate, she is our new adopted sister.
I had my golden birthday and celebrated with the Princesses in Norway.  It was quite magical!
  
 In March we discovered a new hobby, hotel hot tub hopping.  You should give it a try sometime.  Some resorts are easier to get into than others and not look like you are doing something that you probably shouldn't!
 
Also Mar came, and we enjoyed having her come play with us and our friend Hannah came and joined in the fun.

Another hobby we discovered was movies on the beaches at the different resorts.  There is just something about sitting on the fake Disney beaches and watching a movie on the inflatable screen.  They have a campfire before the movie.  Here we are showing the Italians how delicious s'mores are, they enjoyed their first one!

In may I got to meet my favorite mr. and mrs. Incredible.  They know who they are and thats all I will say.  (ps this was not my first time meeting the incredibles, just these particular ones)

Also Andy, Chelsey and Cali came to visit.  I am so glad they came, going to the parks with little kids is so magical! 

On Easter Tiauna and I were sinners and went to see the Easter Parade at the Magic Kingdom.  I remember watching it on TV growing up.  They don't show it on TV anymore but I thought since while I was there I should go see it.  I'm glad we did.  It was great fun.

 
We also had a girls night at the grand.  I believe we had about 13 stay in our room.  I can't go into the details or else I would have to kill you, you know how girls nights are!
In may we continued to play around the resorts and we enjoyed a deliciously fattening Kitchen Sink.


May also brought the end of festival season.  We had our last awards ceremony which was a blast because we are all nerds and learned the dance to "We're All in this Together" it was awesome!

Then it was time to say farewell to Tiffany and other friends as they ended their college program, so we threw in some time at Star Wars Weekend, more great fun.



One of my highlights of the semester was going on my first cruise.  It was amazing and I can't wait to go on another one!


Then came June and it was almost time for me to go back home to AZ :( Got to play in the parks a couple more times with cousins that came to visit and Brad.
  My last weekend in Florida there was a YSA activity at Daytona beach.  We had a lot of fun and we saw where the Daytona 500 takes place.  Then Emily and I packed up my car again and headed back home.  We really didn't stop, we just wanted to get home!

I didn't take too many pictures during the summer.  Just came home, started lifegaurding again, went to a Family Reunion in Utah and looked for a teaching job.



 In August we went to an old teachers wedding.  It was kind of awkward and fun.  Then school started, you can kind of say thats fun, but it pays for me to have fun!






September I found my favorite new toy, the FlowRider.  It's awesome and I've gotten to ride it a couple times, I'm getting pretty good.  Hopefully by the end of the summer I will be a pro.

October was a busy fun month.  I became an aunt again to my adorable nephew Treyson.  He is such a cute baby and keeps getting cuter and more fun to play with everyday.  Then I went back "home" to Orlando for a much needed visit.  Lindsay and I had a blast hanging out with Brad and some other good friends that are still there.

In November Emilie and I made my cousins wedding cake. We have started a cake business, you should check out our blog WE do cakes.

December came and left really fast like it always does. I survived my first concert as a teacher. It was great fun except for my kids giving me pink eye. Christmas was fun and spent with lots of family.

So there's to you 2009. You were good. Lots of changes were made, now its time to see what 2010 has in store!